In this article, Wendi Pohs discusses why taxonomists should always be included on project development teams and provides an interesting case study to illustrate her point.
“Little bursts of controversy seem to occasionally erupt in the blog-o-sphere that ignite the debate about the “worth'” of taxonomy, and by extension, of taxonomists. But the debate tends to focus on defining a taxonomist’s job. I think that we have defined the position pretty well, but now we need to be sure that it sits in the right place in the organization. In my experience, both as an employee and as a consultant, the right place for an information retrieval professional is on the development team. And developing information retrieval artifacts (like taxonomies and classification rules) deserves one (or many) full-time resources; I have seen many good IR projects fail because IR duties are assigned to someone as an “as-needed” part of their day job. Here is a little “typical taxo case study” that I wrote awhile ago to illustrate the point. Does this resonate? How would you staff the project?” [Read More]
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